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I’m traveling in a large group of people and it’s my (and I think the others’) first cruise. We’re on Harmony of the Seas, May 2018. Some questions have been answered by travel agents, cruise lines, but some have not and wondering if anyone has answer to these... (thank you in advance to anyone who sticks around to read all of this!)

1. Voom - I asked RC if there was any option to purchase Voom for only a few select days and they said once on board to inquire about a daily service option. But no details given re: price and what level of service/speed it is. Anyone use this and know details?

 

2. Royal IQ - Not all in our group will have Voom and we need to communicate and considering giving IQ a try (although it seems it’s inconsistent - any tips/insight appreciated) Question: once device is registered, is there any way to block incoming calls from shore? I only want passenger to passenger communication and don’t want to pay for incoming calls from shore/back home. RC did not answer this question;

 

3. Embarkation Day Questions - 

Can you check-in, get your SeaPass and then leave the ship to explore the port before the ship sets sail?

Our party has several arrival times and there are items (including bottles of wine & other items they don’t want to fly with) that we’re planning on me picking up in town the night before. Is there any place for me to leave the items in the terminal - like customer service or will call - for the other passengers to pick up as they arrive (before check-in, security, etc)… or can I meet them (as the wine has to be with them at check-in)?

 

4. Solarium’s clamshell/cabanas - do you reserve those or is it first come first serve?

 

5. Kids - are the kids/teenagers able to order drinks, etc. and charge to the room without an adult present? Do they need some kind of card or pass to do this?

 

6. Vegetarian meals - are there going to be a decent selection in complimentary dining areas other than salad and one pasta dish? RC says there will be but other resorts have said this and I’ve been disappointed.

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Welcome!

1 - For Voom daily pricing, I'll rely on someone else to check in here as I think it recently changed, but it's quite a bit more than the daily rate you pay if you commit to the week (perhaps $29?).

2 - This one is easy: put your phone in Airplane Mode and then turn on WiFi (to use Royal IQ or Voom for that matter).  Being in Airplane Mode prevents your device from connecting to the cellular network on the ship, which is what you really want to avoid.  For anyone using Voom, provided their device and carrier allow it (most do now), WiFi calling will continue to work once on Voom, allow your phone to be used as normal without any additional charges from your carrier.  You can read more about that in the below two posts:
https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/07/27/how-stay-touch-someone-your-royal-caribbean-cruise
http://www.cruisehabit.com/wifi

3 - Can you check in and then leave?  The answer here is "I'm pretty sure" but honestly, it's going to be quite a bit of hassle, just because embarkation day is a madhouse on larger ships (I don't just mean Oasis class, such as Harmony - pretty much any modern ship from Carnival, Royal, or NCL).  The time you'd lose would be tricky, especially since the port entrance itself can back up, so leaving the ship and coming back could result in a lost hour or more *just in logistics* if you include the time it takes to enter and exit the port itself.

You'd need to meet with anyone you want to hand things off to, as there is no baggage hold or will call.

4 - Unless I am forgetting something (totally possible), the Solarium doesn't have any reserved seating (and no clam shells or cabanas at all).  The good news is that it's generally quite easy to find space in the solarium on Oasis class ships, it's one of my favorite favorite spaces on that class - I spent a ton of time there on Harmony in September and will do it again on Symphony in a few months.  There are clam shells and cabanas at Labadee - is that the point of confusion?

5 - Yes, your kids will be able to charge things to the room unless you specifically restrict those cards from making purchases.  We don't have kids so I'm not sure if you can assign limits, but there would be workarounds, like having those cards assigned to a cash account with limited funds, whereas adults can have theirs on a credit card.  Kids will do this with their room keys/SeaPass cards or Wow Bands (if you are in a suite, or choose to purchase them for a couple dollars).

6 - In the main dining room there will always be at least one vegetarian option - though I can tell you from experience (my wife and I are vegetarian) that there are usually more than just those which are marked - sometime requiring only minor modification.  The same is true in other complimentary venues.  You can also make special requests in advance, and see the next day's menu to make modifications.  If you're lacto/ovo you'll find this of little challenge at all, with far more than pasta and salad options.  That in mind, I highly encourage you to read the below article as it will provide some tips I've found useful to anyone in your party with any dietary restrictions at all:
http://www.cruisehabit.com/how-request-vegan-vegatarian-gluten-free-or-kosher-meals-your-next-cruise

 

Hopefully others will fill some gaps that I've left, but I and everyone else welcomes any additional questions you might have.  Depending on timing, I may be out watching your sail-away and broadcasting it live to friends and fam who aren't sailing with you: http://cruisehabit.com/periscope

Lastly, if you don't already list to the Royal Caribbean Blog podcast, check it out!  Many episodes are helpful, but you'll find some Harmony specific content leading up to and just following the Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise on Harmony of the Seas last September.

Enjoy!

 

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Welcome!

I just returned from Harmony a week ago. Great ship and you’ll have a great time.

Your questions were answered but I have a few add-on tips. 

1. If anyone has Apple devices, you can use iMessage for free. There is a well known glitch on Harmony. Put your iPhone in airplane mode and connect to the WiFi “Royal-WiFi”.  We all had iPhones and we easily stayed in communication with each other on the ship and my teens could still text friends at home who had iPhones. 

2. On my day 3 cruise compass, voom surf was $15.99 per day and surf and stream was $19.99 per day. They considered this a daily deal so I’m not sure if it was more other days. 

3. If your kids/teens want to do the arcade, you can prepay for packages on your cruise planner but you can’t buy a credit package on the ship. These prepay packages give you a some free credit. Once on the ship, you pay per game. My kids while weren’t excessive could easily rack up a $15 charge in 10 minutes...each game is about $1.25. I think a package gives you some control over how much they spend.

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I'm apparently the only one in our whole group who has an iPhone.. although we have two old Ipod Touches that we could use but that wouldn't be enough. Darn!

One more question... my understanding is that I can order Voom and then my family and I can "share" it as long as only one device is connected at a time. This would be a great compromise as everyone could get some screen time, check emails, etc. but we (especially the kids) are not plugged in 24/7. Does this sound correct?

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4 minutes ago, ADK said:

I'm apparently the only one in our whole group who has an iPhone.. although we have two old Ipod Touches that we could use but that wouldn't be enough. Darn!

One more question... my understanding is that I can order Voom and then my family and I can "share" it as long as only one device is connected at a time. This would be a great compromise as everyone could get some screen time, check emails, etc. but we (especially the kids) are not plugged in 24/7. Does this sound correct?

The iPods would at least help and you could give them to a few people who would tend to hang out together.

Yes, you can share as long as only 1 device is connected at a time.  One thing to look at is a post on page 2 of this discussion page.."using a travel router". It may save you some fights of who is on when. 

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21 hours ago, melski94 said:

Welcome!

I just returned from Harmony a week ago. Great ship and you’ll have a great time.

Your questions were answered but I have a few add-on tips. 

1. If anyone has Apple devices, you can use iMessage for free. There is a well known glitch on Harmony. Put your iPhone in airplane mode and connect to the WiFi “Royal-WiFi”.  We all had iPhones and we easily stayed in communication with each other on the ship and my teens could still text friends at home who had iPhones. 

2. On my day 3 cruise compass, voom surf was $15.99 per day and surf and stream was $19.99 per day. They considered this a daily deal so I’m not sure if it was more other days. 

3. If your kids/teens want to do the arcade, you can prepay for packages on your cruise planner but you can’t buy a credit package on the ship. These prepay packages give you a some free credit. Once on the ship, you pay per game. My kids while weren’t excessive could easily rack up a $15 charge in 10 minutes...each game is about $1.25. I think a package gives you some control over how much they spend.

So I can text people at home without ANY charges using my iPhone????

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Yes. As far as I know, you can only iMessage from Apple products.

That's my understanding. And it seems if you're trying to text/communicate with people who have Androids then you have to pay for some kind of service: Royal IQ (for on board communication), or Voom (and use free What's App or similar WiFi text service) or I guess you could pay your carrier's fees. 

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25 minutes ago, ADK said:

That's my understanding. And it seems if you're trying to text/communicate with people who have Androids then you have to pay for some kind of service: Royal IQ (for on board communication), or Voom (and use free What's App or similar WiFi text service) or I guess you could pay your carrier's fees. 

We usually purchase VOOM and my husband and I use Whatsapp (he uses Android and I have an iPhone).  I don't know much about texting through Royal IQ as we have VOOM and I don't use it to text.  Just make sure you do what @monorailmedic and @melski94 said, put your phone on airplane mode.

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